Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 10: We Must Always Keep a Good Attitude

Woche 10: Apartment Adventures!
Well, this week has definitely been interesting... I will start off by answering some questions:
-I always wear my seat belt
-I don´t believe we have 72 hour kits here
-We do however have carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms
-We have an electric oven
-I will take some pics of our apartment
-I feel like I will stay with Elder Cavin. I mean there is a pretty high chance. But it does happen that the trainer leaves and the golden gets a stepdad...

Elder Cavin has been feeling a lot better, but we still need to go to the doctor some time this week. I will continue to pray for Ryan. I really hope that he gets better soon.

How has AFTB been going? The same or are you teaching some new stuff or have some different responsibilities? I love hearing about the Mormon Crew.  I absolutely loved the picture of all our Mormon boys on the Football team. That is wonderful example of living the gospel and standing strong in numbers. I can see the light in Neil shining much more brightly in these last couple months. He is such an amazing young man and will be prepared for his mission if he keeps on this path. Family History, it super cool but so difficult isn´t it? However, what we can´t do here will all be taken care of later on right?

This is the picture he is referring to that I sent him of the Mormon boys on our high school football team here in Missouri.
Montag bis Mittwoch
Elder Cavin has had to stay inside almost all week since he has had no energy and has just been exhausted because of his sickness.  I did a lot of studies. Those days I did my regular studies in the morning. During companion study the other Elders took me in. Afterwards we would usually have Mittagessen and then they would leave.  I cleaned a lot while they were gone. I turned up some Mormon music and then I cleaned the kitchen. I did dishes quite a few times. Elder Cavin and I cleaned the bathroom, this was when he was feeling a lot better. When I wasn´t cleaning, I was studying. I did a lot of studies this week. I would usually read from Jesus the Christ or from the Liahona. I also have read so much out of the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel.

On Donnerstag I had an exchange with Elder Wilkins. That day was pretty good. We taught Frau B about the Holy Ghost and then followed with her Baptismal program. It was my "first" lesson in Deutsch. Quotations because it was really really short. Afterwards we ate lunch and then headed over to Donaueschingen. We ended up getting off one stop to early. So we either had to wait for an hour and 20 minutes or we walked. So we walked for 10 minutes to the next station. It wasn´t bad at all so that was good. While we were there, we seriously doored half of the town. We walked so much that day. We got stared at, cussed out, doors slammed in our faces, and ignored so much that day. Oh well right? Something that was cool is that my studies have been revolving around trials and our attitudes. We will usually never understand the purpose of our trials until long after we have passed through them. And then is when we recognize God´s hand and see how much we have grown. So we must  always keep a good attitude and just have faith in the Lord. This past week I have put that into action as I have been stuck inside and as we didn't have success that we could see or write down. However, when we kept our chins up, we began to saw the eternal perspective of things. We have also learned so much here that success is measured by our hard work, not by numbers.

Freitag bis Samstag
Freitag was similar to the beginning of the week. However, we went to JM´s house. We gave him a big picture of Jesus Christ. He loved it so much. He then fed us some more curry. It was so good. Smastag was similar to the beginning of this week.

So Sonntag was pretty similar to every other day. Except for Church. Jagadish was confirmed. I was kind of nervous because it was my first time. However the Spirit was there and guided me so much. It was a really neat experience. That day I played the piano in Sacrament meeting with the guitar and 3 singers. A lot of members have been asking me to play and stuff. And then we talked with the youth afterwards. They are so cool. We are going to do something with them on Wednesday I believe. We will have to see how that goes.

You will be happy to hear that I am going to take at least 5 pictures a day from now on so I have stuff to send.

Ich liebe euch. Bis nächstes mal! Tschüss. Auf wiedersehn!

Michael had a last minute request during out quick emailing back and forth.

"This might be a big favor
I would like this from anyone who reads this and people from our ward
-a favorite scripture
-inspirational quote
-a written testimony(can be simple personal or direct)
This is a project so I will tell you more later"

Der Sonnenuntergang von unser Fenster

Die Kirche in Donaueschingen

Ein Fluss in Donaueschingen

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 9: The Secret to Missionary Work, is Work

Woche 9: Beautiful Deutschland
 Well, I am still amazed at the beauty here in Deutschland.The rolling hills, the Black Forest, the sunsets. Everything is just so beautiful.

Well, last P-Day was very relaxing. I finished unpacking and cleaned a little. After our P-Day ended, Elder Cavin and I went to Rottweil. We went and tried to visit some potential investigators but none of them were home or they lived in an asylum, which means that they fled their country and are living in government housing seeking jobs and residence permits. So Montag was a little slow going. However, after we were finished, we went and visited our progressing investigator, JM. We stopped by to just have a small lesson with him and he ended up cooking us dinner while we were there. He is from Nepal so he cooked us some curry dish. It was very good. He is here to get a degree in Business Management and then he will return to Nepal in two years. He is such a cool person. The missionaries met him on the street and he had never heard of Jesus Christ.

On Dienstag, we had our personal study time and then had to travel to Singen for Zone Training. The train ride is roughly 45 minutes there., so we had to leave before lunch. We just grabbed a sandwich when we got there. The sandwiches here are really good. They are way healthier than what we get in America. Anyway, Zone Training was really good. We talked about diligence, daily planning, and goal setting.
-Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles.
-The secret to missionary work, is work. We must have diligence and keep pushing forward.
-Our purpose is invite others and to help them endure to the end. This means we have  responsibility for members, other missionaries, investigators, potentials, and everyone we come into contact with.
-Having goals should not be a simple checklist. The purpose of having goals is to push yourselves beyond your current capabilities They are there to reach something bigger (ie: eternal salvation)
It was nice being able to see Elder Samualson and Sister Cook from the MTC. They are so awesome! After Zone Training, I had an exchange. I exchanged with Elder Dooreman in Schaffhausen. So I served in Schweiz for a day. He is from Belgium and is just super cool. We had Schnitzel and fries for dinner. It was actually pretty good.

On Wednesday, we exchanged back. The Elders in Schaffhausen actually live 45 minutes away from their ward. They live in Deutschland. We traveled for about 20 minutes to Singen to exchange back. After that Elder Cavin and I traveled back to Schwenningen for about an hour. Once we got back, we had a small lunch and then went over to visit a member. He lives in a nursing home so we had drive a good distance away. We went and visited and just chatted and then he asked us for a blessing. Meine Güte... It was in Deutsch so I was a little nervous. but everything went fine since I only did the anointing. We talked a little about family history and he said that he would show us next time we came over. Bruder Ulfik is his name. He is such sweet old man. We went back home and then did the 12 week program. It is a program that helps the missionary learn about the lessons and the applications. We then went over to JM's home. He fed us yet again some different curry with rice. He just kept feeding us and feeding us. It was so crazy but really good.
Rheinfalls in Shaffhausen, Schweiz

Rheinfalls in Shaffhausen, Schweiz

We finished our studies and went over to S`s house. She is one of our potential investigators so we were only making an appointment. She is living alone, I think, so we need to get a member to come with us.  We then went over to the Schwings for Lunch. We had Raclette. It was really good. It is a Swiss meal and it is potatoes with a lot of cheese haha... We then went and cleaned the Baptismal for Sunday. While we were at the church we were looking a family history. I, of course, had nothing because I couldn't  remember what our login information was. Oh well. They have really cool ancestry. Scottish is really apparent for everyone else except me. Elder Ridd has so much royal blood in him it seriously crazy. One of his lines go all the way back to Adam and Eve. We then went to the Gülers for Dinner. They fed us some pasta salad that was really good. They then fed us steaks and chicken and sausages. They kept feeding us. We would finish a bowl and then  they would bring another bowl out. They then fed us a really good cheesecake. Meine Güte, it was so good.

After our studies, we went and visited JM for his Baptism. He gave us tea and then gave us cookies and biscuits and then gave us nutella sandwiches. Meine Güte, he just kept feeding us. We then went to Präsident Ziegner`s house for lunch. They fed us Knödel and some stew. It was way good. The Schwenningen 1 Elders taught Fynn about Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a really good object lesson with chocolate. Afterwards we rushed to the train station to go to Bad Säckingen for exchanges. Nothing much happened. I went with Elder Nägli(really Naegli) and we got lost. We then went home and had some beans for dinner.

In the morning, we had a massive breakfast. We had so many pancakes with nutella and bacon and eggs. It was so good. Afterwards we got prepared and then traveled for an hour to Schaffhausen. We had interviews with Präsident Kohler  and had District Meeting. Our interview was really good.
-Just jump into the language
-Everything isn't going to make sense at first
-Try to meet with all the members and build trust with them
-Lose yourself in the work
-Success isn't measured by numbers, only by your efforts
In our district meeting we talked about the need for daily repentance and how vital it is. We had Fajitas that night. It was really good.

Sonntag was super awesome. JM was baptized.  He is such a super cool guy. The baptism was so enlightening to our purpose for being on a mission. It was really cool. Next week I will be confirming him in Sacrament meeting.
JM on his baptism day.
 Unfortunately, afterwards Elder Cavin got super sick. We went home and he just passed out. He was super sick and felt absolutely horrible. We gave him a blessing and then he slept forever. Yesterday was super relaxed since we stayed inside all day. We made lasagna yesterday. It was actually really good.

Well, I love you all so much. I love receiving the letters. I will keep all of you in my prayers. Just always remember that Jesus Christ loves each and every  one of you. He is willing to help you and all you need to do is have faith and just ask.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 8: The Field is White and Ready to Harvest

Our Missionary Planner

Woche 8: Schwenningen 1
Well, my companion is still awesome. We switch off buying food and stuff if we have to eat out. All of the missionaries out here really love Elder Cavin and respect him. Everyone says I am really lucky to be with him. I really do feel lucky.

Here is a small shout out to Becca: That is so amazing that you are going to Spain. Congratulations! I am so excited for you.

So we have a lot of missionaries right?
-Brigham Parker in Brazil
-Laney Blau in Chile
-Adrienne Fowers in Russia
-Myself in the Alps
-Cedara Stribling going to Scotland\Ireland
-Becca Buechter going to Spain
Am I missing anybody?

That is so amazing. Looks like we are rocking South America and Europe with the Gospel. This makes me so happy.

And congrats to Adley and Nick!

I am so excited to hear how seminary will be going. I absolutely love it and have a very firm testimony about. I know so much of the gospel because of seminary and it has strengthened and prepared me for everyday trials and for my mission. I am so excited that this year is the Doctrine and Covenants. I loved that year so very much. When you pay attention, you will learn so much about the history of our church and many promises the Lord offers us that many people skip over. D&C is full of revelation and inspiration. I would like to encourage everyone to really focus on how we can apply everything there and how God really does continue to live and blesses us in these modern days.

I truly can testify that this gospel can bless everyone. Especially hearing about the baptisms back home. Those are so amazing!  I can see the work here as well. I have been fortunate enough to see up close how this gospel blesses everyone. I can see the change in people everyday.

I had my first exchange this past week in Mittwoch. I was companions with Elder Ridd for the entire day. We went to Rottweil and had an amazing time. In Rottweil, there is an asylum for people who have fled their countries and are seeking work or visas for Europe. Many of those people are so humble and have been prepared to receive the Gospel because of the trials in there life. We met with someone for the first time, and he wanted to learn everything about Jesus Christus and everything about die Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage. It was amazing. He has a baptism date now for the 21st of September. We met many people who seem ready and willing to accept the true Gospel of Jesus Christus into their lives. I really tried to get out of my comfort zone and speak to everyone, especially in Deutsch.
One funny moment:  We were about to pass a Lady and her kids,so I went to greet her. I said: "Hallo, guten tag! Es geht mir gut!" I meant to say: "Es geht ihnen gut?" But I totally messed up. She chuckled and then said nein danke. Ahhh, it was frustrating but we justed laughed it off and then I tried better next time. I know my Deutsch isn't great and that I will make many many mistakes, so I just brushed that off instead.

In Samstag, I was able to see two of the missionaries from the MTC. Elder Samuelson and Sister Cook. We are in the same zone. The Freiburg Zone. It was really cool to see them and to hear how they have been.

So, since Elder Cavin is District Leader, I will get to have six more exchanges. Two of which will be in Switzerland. That will be way cool. I am not sure if I told you this yet so I will again. Präsident Kohler doesn't like that the European missionaries and American missionaries are divided. So he will be putting Americans into Switzerland and Italy. So some of the missionaries I came out with might be able to go there. How cool would that be! And our mission will start getting iPad minis starting at the beginning of next year. I am not sure how that is going to work out so we will have to wait and see.

So, I absolutely love being here. I am really trying to just jump right into the language and speak to everyone. At church I can't always understand everything, but I am trying to hold full conversations with members and the youth. They are super patient. And I am already friends with a couple of the youth here. Way cool. And on Donnerstags, I helped teach the lesson. I taught about Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost to a 7 year old getting baptized soon. Meine Gute... I was slightly nervous, but apparently it went really well. My point was given and he understood what I was saying.

This week, we had District meeting and the zone training meeting for all of the new missionaries and the trainers. And the week before. we had the District leader training meeting. We talked about how the field is white and ready to harvest. We aren't here to plant seeds. While we are gathering His harvest, a couple seeds might fall out of our pocket. And during our zone training meeting, we talked about some of our experiences. They told us that we were doing awesome by jumping right into the work.

Well, my companion and I have been asked to start everyone off with our purpose and then to give our thoughts on it afterwards, so I have been thinking about that a lot today. I will let you know next week how it goes.

Ich weiß, dass Gott und Jesus Christus leben. Ich weiß, dass sie uns lieben. Ich weiß, dass das Buch Mormon wahr ist. Ich liebe diese Kirche. Ich weiß, dass das Evangelium wahr ist. Ich weiß, dass das Sühnopfer für uns ist. Ich liebe euch!

Die Katholischen Kirchen in Rottweil

Die Katholischen Kirchen in Rottweil

Die Katholischen Kirchen in Rottweil

Die Katholischen Kirchen in Rottweil

Die Katholischen Kirchen in Rottweil

Die Katholischen Kirchen in Rottweil

High Tower in Rottweil.

High Tower in Rottweil.



Eine Kirche in Villingen

Eine Kirche in Villingen

Eine Kirche in Rottweil

Eine Kirche in Rottweil

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 7: We Must Continually Move Forward With Faith

Woche 7: Deutschland

So, my first area is in Schwenningen, Deutschland. We are in the Black Forest, so it is super beautiful. I will start from the beginning.
Wednesday morning we woke up at 3:45 in the morning. It was super early. We got prepared for the day and then headed off to the Manchester airport. We got there and then lost two sisters. We found them 3 minutes later so that was good. We then had luggage problems. Tons of missionaries had overweight bags and the airport people took their carry-ons and made them pay to ship it. Crazy! So we then headed to the security line. It was massive. There were at least 200 people there. Luckily, we somehow got into the fast track lane and got up to security pretty fast. Then the security people were having problems. Some missionaries needed to get checked and a ton of missionaries bags needed to be checked. We were running low on time for our plane, so we almost had to run to the gate. We got on and everything else went smoothly. 
Well, everything went smoothly until we got to customs in the München airport. They pretty much detained us for two hours before President Kohler could come down and solve the problem. They interrogated him and then let us all go. For some reason, they thought our group of 16 was just traveling around the Alpine countries for two years. It was way weird. So then we went through customs and  my bag was the only one not on the baggage claim. It was a little crazy, but they started up the roller thing and my bag came out. All is well, right?
Yes, so we went and met some other missionaries and then got told we were going finding on a train. It was just a tad scary. We went to the train and just started talking to people. It was just small chit chat and then they had to go, so not much teaching. Well, on the second train, I paired up with Elder Hunter because he had no Book of Mormon. So we sat next to some guy and just said Hallo, guten tag. He literally got up and went to the other side of the train and started to look at us like we were freaks from another planet. And the next guy started yelling at us at how we didn't believe in the Bible. And why we couldn't speak Deutsch, yet we were in Deutschland. 
We left and then went to the mission home. That night we had some training and then went and had dinner with the Kohler family. They are super awesome. They have a son who is 17 and a daughter who is 14. I don't remember what we had for dinner but it was good haha. So we then sat in a big circle and learned who would train us and where we would be trained. Elder Annen was the only missionary being trained in Switzerland. We have 5 missionaries serving in Austria and then 10 serving in Deutschland. I was the only missionary to see my companion that night since he was in the office. We then had an amazing testimony meeting. It was extremely cool to see how much everyone has grown since the first day we were in the MTC. We have some amazing new missionaries. The next day we had more training and then went to the train station. It was really sad seeing everyone who I got extremely close to leave, but I do rejoice in the fact that we were going to do amazing things in the world. So it also brought a smile to my face thinking about that. Well, it was then our turn to leave at 2:15. I traveled with four other goldens so that was nice. I got to see them one last time and talk with them. We then got off at our our stop and started to take bags off. It turns out we lost three bags. It was sad because one of the goldens lost their bags. Man, those two days the adversary was really working on us. The adversary was really trying to keep us out of Deutschland and keep from having a Christlike attitude. However, we prevailed and made it!
So, I said bye to the final missionaries and it was just myself and Elder Cavin. Man, he is super awesome. He bought me a Döner. It was really good. So, everyone told me that I was super lucky to be getting Elder Cavin because he is such a hard working missionary. 
Well, now I can say that I was born in Schwenningen (another missionary term). So these past couple of days have been crazy insane. My companion is the District leader so he is quite busy. We stayed in the apartment a lot on Friday. I had to watch some video because we are in a car area. We also had to do weekly planning. However, we did have a lesson. It was in English so that was pretty cool. On Saturday, we traveled a bunch. We first helped a family move and then went to the District Leader meeting in Singen. We took a train there and had the meeting there. So, President Packer's grand daughter is actually one of the Sister trainer leaders in our zone. So that is way cool. So something that stuck out to me was something she said after the meeting. Elder Cavin asked her if he could use their lesson on teaching being effective in the district meeting. She said something like this. I appreciate that you asked me, but it doesn't really matter. Knowledge is knowledge, and knowledge is from God. It was definitely eye opening. I mean that is the whole reason we are missionaries. Because we have the knowledge of the restored gospel and want to share it with every one of God's children. 
After the meeting, it turns out the train we needed didn't actually run that day so we were an hour late to a baptismal interview which was in Bad Säckingen. It was fine because the Elders just switched around their lesson and the interview. So we finished and headed to the train station and again it turns out our train didn't run that day as well. So, Elder Cavin bought myself and him Döners. We then headed out to Singen. We waited and then found out our train ran 40 minutes later on Saturday. So we went out finding. Normally we don't find outside of our area but we weren't going to waste our time. So, we went out and started talking to some guy. It was super cool. I didn't say much but I understood almost everything that was being said. Way cool. We called up the Zone leaders and gave them this guy's number and told them we were going to be late. We ended up getting home at 10:10. That is and hour and ten minutes late! It wasn't a problem though because neither of us knew the train times.
On Sunday we went to my first church meeting in Deutschland. I didn't understand much in Priesthood and then we planned JD's baptismal service. As it turns out, I will being giving the Holy Ghost... I'm kind of nervous, but it will be a super cool experience.  We then had Sacrament meeting and I gave my testimony. I felt like my Deutsch was super bad but everyone told me it was really really good for a missionary who just got on the mission. That was super comforting. Oh and one of the little boys made me a little key chain made out of that plastic string stuff. How cool! So we went home, ate lunch and then started our fast. Saturday was a bit hectic so we forgot to start it, so I am actually still fasting right now. Anyway, we went with the other Elders to a lesson and it was pretty cool. I understood a couple different things. She was talking about cirrhosis in the Liver and we had no idea what she was talking about. she was like infection, disease. She then said the word again, and I was like, Oh! Cirrhosis! It was cool to see how the Lord is helping me understand the language. So then we continued weekly planning yesterday and still didn't get finished. There is just so much to do! Anyway, now it is today haha. 
Other cool news, I will get to go on exchanges 7 times this transfer, since Elder Cavin is the District Leader, with every Elder in the district as well as one of the zone leaders.I will get to do exchanges in Schaffhausen Switzerland.  So I will have served in Switzerland for two days. Switzerland actually lets Americans in the countries for three months which is two transfers. So President Kohler said he will probably start sending Americans over there for two transfers. Way cool. And our mission is actually getting iPads soon. So, I wonder how that will work out. 
So my companion is amazing. He works super hard and really takes care of me being a golden and stuff. Yeah, he is from Scotland and actually played proffesional Fußball before he came out. Yeah, he is super cool.
Oh, and the Elders we share an apartment with are Elder Ridd and Elder Wilkens. So you actually spoke to Elder Ridd's mom. Cool!

We actually haven't been fed by the members yet, but on Wednesday we will.
I got the two packages from you. The Gift of Tongues bag was clever. Haha, it gave me a giggle. 
So, sorry my pictures are bad because we have been super busy...
Anyway, I am excited to hear about Youth Conference. It sounded fun from your description. 
I bet Brother Housel will just be amazing. I will be excited to hear how that goes in December. 
Well, I guess the only thing I am struggling with is not seeing all the missionaries from the MTC. They were just so amazing and now I am not with them. I just can't wait to see them further along in my mission. But, I know they are off doing amazing things in this mission so I don't have to be too sad and worried. 
So, one thing that has been emphasized immensely this week is that we need to let ourselves change. We cannot expect Jesus Christ to change our desires and actions. We need to put in our own effort. We need to have the desire to change. We also need to be open to how the Lord will change us. We cannot say we want to change but then harden our hearts to what the Lord has for us. We need to seek out our answer through the scriptures, prayer, and living the Christlike attributes. That is when we will begin to see the change. I also learned that there is no such thing as staying still in our progression towards eternal life. We can move forward slowly or fast but we will be making progression. However, we cannot think that we will stay still with the same testimony and same desires if we stop enduring or changing ourselves to be like Christ. Once we stop our progression forward, we begin to digress into a state of apostasy even faster then how we were progressing. We can never stop, we must continually move forward with faith.
Ich weiß dass das Buch Mormon wahr ist. Ich weiß dass Joseph Smith einen Prophet war. Ich weiß dass Jesus Christus und Himmlische Vater uns lieben. Ich weiß dass mein Erlöser lebt. Ich fühle den Heiligen Geist jede tag. Ich liebe das Evangelium. Ich liebe euch! Chow!